Books: Self-Help Spoof

THE REVELATIONS OF DR. MODESTO (256 pp.)—Alan Harrington—Knopf ($3.50).

If Hal Hingham were a philosopher instead of a life-insurance salesman, he might sum himself up by saying: "I dread, therefore I am." The realest thing about young Hal, a tenth-rate agent for Arcadia Life, is the queasy feeling in the pit of his stomach when he faces his boss, his girl, or anyone else. As he somnambulates through life with a nagging sense of being out of step, people bump into him as if he were invisible, and prospects look out the window when...

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